@Chris Raymond - So fantastic that you totally got what I was getting at: that making something interesting and turning it into a game of sorts where you reach a goal and gain skills along the way can totally transform the mundane into the sublime. I’m glad that trick worked for you in school.
The advice to sit in a coffee house is not necessarily literal - there are a lot of modern-day “coffeehouses” that will serve the purpose well: conferences, tweetups, networking functions, volunteer committees. The gist is really more to get out of your house and your head and around other people to mix and mingle ideas. Starbucks or the equivalent need not be the spot to do so. :)